Tag Archives: Oregon PERS

Against Government Pensions: The Early State Constitutions

One of the Socialist Institutions that makes life so miserable for the lower classes in America is the obligation to pay governmental pensions to a vast number of retired citizens, both private and governmental. These pensions ultimately bankrupt the State, which leads to inflation and social chaos. The private citizen pension-recipient is the Social Security Pensioner who worked for a private business or was self-employed. The governmental citizen is the Federal worker, Congressman or other politician, retired military receiving some form of pension, and State or County worker receiving a pension.

All these violate one of the most fundamental principles of the American Revolution, which was enunciated in most State Constitutions. It ran, “That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.”

This “Fathers of the Constitution” Principle clearly bans any “emoluments” going to public servants except as salary. “In consideration of public services” clearly refers to labor done. The retired worker does no labor or “services” for the government or his former employer. Once they retire from service, they should be entitled to nothing further from the public taxpayers.

There is no reason why these people could not set up their own retirement plans with private companies, and certainly a well-run, well-capitalized pension fund could easily be set up by one of our famous “public-spirited” deca-billionaires, or a consortium of such, which would provide a pension system equal, if not better, than the current Federal Social Security system.

I would also not object to a fund set up and administered by the Government, as long as all liabilities, costs, and short-falls would be born solely by the pension fund participants, and not the general taxpayer. But in that case, the Government fund would not differ fundamentally from a private fund, though it would fulfill the patriotic fervor of those on the Left who thing the Government is the greatest invention since The Pill.

In Oregon, a Democrat-Administered State with many poor people and much crime, there are currently at least 1,195 former State workers receiving annual pensions of at least $100,000/year. The Kitzhaber and Brown Administrations have continued to increase the State’s Debt so that it is in the high $80 billions range, equating to a personal debt share of about $28,000 for each of the 3 million Oregon State Residents. Add this to a child’s burden of $160,000 share of the $20billion Federal Debt, and you see that a child born in Oregon already owes the Democrats and Republicans $188,000. No wonder he’s howling at birth! This clearly shows the extreme Injustice that soon flows from Socialist governmental programs, and clearly shows why the Founding Fathers were so adamant about preserving Individual Rights and Liberty, and why they were so wary of governmental power.

They knew that Power Corrupts, and Jefferson had stated that Government was evil, though perhaps necessary, and because Government had Power and Power always Corrupts, it was therefore necessary to keep Government as small as possible, and to set up various checks and balances on the power of Individuals in Government.

Compared to anything else that had gone on before in World History, what the Fathers of The Constitution (and mostly Jefferson) produced was nothing more than the most Libertarian Doctrine that had ever existed since Magna Charta. And unlike the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the Americans declared that these Inalienable Rights applied to All Mankind, not just Englishmen, although the Americans had to take it not too seriously so they could continue with their filthy slave trade — the quintessential antithesis of Libertarianism.

America should return to its Libertarian roots, and get government off the backs of the newborns and the lower-paid workers. They have no responsibility to pay cushy pensions to anybody, and if they feel they have such a responsibility, they are free to exercise it through charities or private companies.

Those who have paid into government pension funds should, of course, have those paid-in funds returned with the accrued interest.

Let’s abolish these immoral contracts that the newborn have no say, power, or vote on. Let’s abolish governmental pensions.

—Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014

Oregon Measures 94 to 100 2016 Election: My Recommendations

My recommendations, as a self-styled Libertarian, on Oregon’s 2016 Ballot Measures, are as follows:

Measure 94, which amends the Oregon Constitution, and removes the mandatory retirement age of 75 for judges, obviously deserves a “yes” vote. The idea that judges at 75 suddenly become incompetent to rule on cases is absurd. Indeed, jurisprudence is something that probably improves with age, as the judge is exposed to more and more cases. Moreover, there are already ways of removing any judge who suddenly goes “gaga”.

Measure 95 is a vile, heinous measure that would tie the financial health of government universities to the performance of the stock market. Here is another measure designed to give government backing to the price levels of stocks, i.e. private corporations. One can see the damage such cozenage has done to the Japanese economy, where the central bank has been buying stocks for years. Obviously, government entities buying stocks ties an entire nation’s economy to the fortunes of the stock market, and gives another “too big to fail” reason for the Federal Reserve to print more money to “bail out” the stock market, while it dilutes your purchasing power and makes you poorer. Indeed, the Federal Reserve is already preparing the public for such a massive theft by talking about the necessity of buying “securities” — ironically the most insecure investment there is besides buying a government lottery ticket. This measure is designed to defeat the “separation of government and private business”, which has already been defeated at the Federal level. Libertarians believe in separation of business and state, just as we must have separation of church and state, and separation of education and state. The failure to maintain such separations is a major reason for the steady decline of America as a civilization. Vote “no” on measure 95.

I oppose Measure 96, which would earmark 1.5% of lottery earnings for veterans services. While this may be a worthy use of the money, I oppose it for two reasons. Firstly, because I strongly oppose the lottery itself, which puts the State in the position of promoting vice, and destroying the financial well-being of its citizens. So any good-sounding reason for the lottery merely increases its attractiveness to the public. Secondly, the military and veterans affairs are provinces of the Federal Government, not of the State, and any aid to veterans should come out of the Veterans Administration and Federal Funds, not State funds. Any money the lottery players of Oregon save the Federal Government will quickly be absorbed by the next billion-dollar stealth plane the Pentagon builds. So vote No on 96.

Measure 97, the supposed tax on corporations in Oregon, has been well-exposed as another scheme to transfer monies from poor Oregon consumers to the wealthy, well-fed retirees of the Oregon State Pension boondoggle, PERS. Currently there are at least 1,195 PERS recipients receiving at least $100,000/yr as a pension. One receives $55,000/month, and four years ago I counted 12 that were receiving over $212,000/yr. Any funds looted from the public through increased costs for corporate services will surely go into these bloated, immoral pensions, which well illustrate the legalized theft possible under socialist governments like Oregon has had under Governors Kitzhaber and Brown. Vote “No” on 97, unless you believe in robbing the poor to maintain the cushy lifestyles of wealthy retired State bureaucrats.

(Note that in 2014, when I ran for Governor, I proposed a corporate income tax while eliminating the personal income tax. My tax would have begun at 1% for corporations with profits of $10-$100million, rising slowly from $100million to $1billion. Corporations making $1billion or more would have paid 8%, which is the current personal income tax rate on individuals making $30,000.)

Measure 98 is another ripoff you should definitely vote “No” on. It provides $800 per high school student to prevent and discourage drop-outs. The Government schools in Oregon are so lousy that many teens can’t wait to get out from under this royal wasting of the time of their youth. If the schools were really interesting, and had anything truly relevant to a youth’s life, there would be no “drop-out” problem. But children, who can’t vote, are the easiest group to exploit in our society, and the huge bureaucracies that make a fortune running the Oregon School system are not about to lose all that filthy lucre by having their victims drop out of it. Therefore they say let’s throw more money at the problem that their own existence has created. Government schools are a curse on children, and we should vote against any continuance or further financial aid to them.

Measure 99 is another one that indirectly promotes the State lottery and sends yet more private sector funds to the rotten government schools. It would give 4% of lottery funds to provide “outdoor schools” for 5th and 6th graders. (And one must wonder about the logic behind this measure since the weather for outdoor classes is most inclement during the Oregon school year.) Just like Measure 96, it encourages people to play the lottery for what seems like a good cause. I wonder how many children have been left parentless because the Oregon Lottery caused their parents to become financially destitute and commit suicide. The Lottery, besides being Immoral and outside the sphere of Jeffersonian Government, financially destroys the lives of countless people, whose tragic stories never become public. Let’s rid ourselves of this outrage known as the Oregon Lottery.

Measure 100 is an obvious “yes” vote if you consider yourself an “Enviro-Libertarian” as I do. While the measure is flawed, it is basically an anti-hunting measure, and I oppose hunting in all its forms as legalized animal torture.

So in summary here are my recommendations on Oregon State Measures: 94-Yes, 95-No, 96-No, 97-No, 98-No, 99-No, 100-Yes.

—Paul Grad, 2014 Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee for Governor

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Why I am Running

In short, because I think our society is on the brink of disaster, economically, politically, and environmentally.paul 19

But that’s not the only reason. Basically, I’m running because for years I have seen injustices and dangerous situations going unanswered and even unmentioned by the mainline politicians. Nobody says legalize heroin for the terminally ill, no one says outlaw pitbulls, after they’ve been responsible for 62% of all fatal dog attacks in the past nine years, nobody stands up and says let’s jail people who smoke tobacco near children, and near anyone for that matter, no one sits-in at the Capitol and demands the Pardon of the Cannabis prisoners, rotting in cages in State custody. Then there are the economic injustices, like a billion-dollar corporation paying a lower income tax rate than a poor roofer making $7950, like one individual receiving $545k/yr in PERS pensions, while the voters of Josephine County are reviled as cheapskates because they refuse to pay the $130k/yr cost of a new deputy, even though it is the State’s and the Governor’s Responsibility under the Oregon Constitution to promote the “peace, safety, and happiness” of the Citizenry, which means that the State has the Responsibility to provide police protection if the County cannot manage it. There are over 1100 PERS recipients receiving pensions of over $100k per year, and since PERS costs tend to add about 21.5%, longterm average, to county and city hiring costs, it is clear that if PERS costs didn’t exist, then the first $100,000 of just one of those 1100-plus individual pensioners could have provided police protection to a valley of 17,000 souls who must largely fend for themselves, due to the incompetence and immorality of the current administration in Salem.

Another great injustice,whose victims have been without political voice for so long, is the serving of meat in state prisons. This violates the deepest moral and religious values of vegan, vegetarian, and Hindu-American taxpayers in Oregon, and, since the AMA has stated that a vegetarian diet is a completely healthy diet, there can be no reason to continue this injustice any longer. Actually, the property rights of all Oregonian taxpayers are violated by the serving of meat in prisons, since meat costs so much more than beans and other high-protein sources. All taxpayers would have their property rights protected by the implementation of vegetarian diet in state prisons. Prisoners would be free to use the money they earn to purchase non-refrigerated forms of meat or fish through the mail, and the State would provide them with B12 tablets.

So the social and economic injustices that have gone unrectified for decades were also a major contribution to my mailing my name in as a candidate.

Another big reason I ran was because, for a long time, there were only three Candidates listed as running for the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s nomination, and they were all Republicans. I could not let that stand. For the Libertarian Party to be represented by someone like Ms. Rafferty would be tragic.

When I sent my name in, I explained that I planned to run a largely local campaign, and not to accept any donations. I also said I would not spend over the $750 spending limit above which the State requires you to form a “Campaign Finance Committee”, and to submit a report anytime you spend any money at all. This is all part of the “regulations”, purported to prevent unfair elections, which virtually guarantee than no Individual, on their own, could become Governor of, or Senator from, Oregon. But you should have, and do have, the Right to spend your justly acquired money as you see fit. Nor should you have to engage in any collectivist activities, like forming a campaign finance committee which obviously involves the labor of others, to run for office. Moreover, the reporting requirements over $750 would be extremely arduous for any person running on their own to comply with. They are, in my view, a form of involuntary servitude, or slavery, and I would not comply with them on principle, unless I were running a full-scale political campaign and had a hired staff who could deal with all that trivia. The Liberals, in their so-called drive for election reform, have made sure than no Individual on his own could ever get elected in their wonderful democracy. The effects of the Liberal’s reform measures are often worse than those of outright Reactionaries.

I did not pledge not to spend any money at all because that would have precluded my having to mail a letter, or print my platform on a piece of paper, or any other costs associated with local campaigning like cost of transportation to events, etc.

I also wanted to run because I see the People suffering so miserably from the inflation which the Democrats and Republicans have forced on them through the Federal Reserve, and the vast media propaganda machine that brainwashes the public into accepting this theft. Inflation is theft, and all governments want it and promote it. It is the theft of the wealth of the working class, to keep them in the working class, and the Democrats are its biggest proponents. It grieves me to see children growing up in this hopeless inflationary poverty, where the poor do not know from week to week what vital cost or food item will inflate next. This inflationary tyranny of the Democrats and Republicans must be crushed politically at the polls, and by running I am giving the public a chance to send that crushing blow to the swindling inflationists.

I also saw that if I didn’t run, no one else would run whose platform was even remotely close to what I think is necessary for America: a radically pro-Individual-Free-Market Capitalism, championing the small businessman, the worker, the artisan, and the small investor, melded to a stringent environmentalism, much more radical it seems to me than the namby-pamby rumblings of the environmental “movement” which has completely failed to stop the destruction of the Earth. I thought a genuine Libertarian who also espoused a radical Environmental Plank would have appeal to a good number of people in Oregon, while my Animal Cruelty Prevention planks would appeal not only to vegetarians, vegans, and anti-vivisectionists, but also to our fellow-vegetarian Friends in the Hindu-American Community in Oregon, whose Rights are also violated with impunity.

So I thought my Candidacy might be the filip that would catalyze a new political wedge of thought. Maybe you could call it Enviro-Vegan-Libertarianism, although I’m pretty sure that I only encompass a tiny fraction of the current Libertarian Party with this melding.

I also wanted to get an entire platform, that reflected that combination of political and ethical philosophies, down on paper into a written document with specific planks. As one astute British politician once urged, “Policy, not politics.”

Additionally, I thought I’d be a suitable Libertarian candidate because I have read extensively in Libertarian literature: works and lectures by Rothbard, Mises, Hayek, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Arthur Seldon, and others. Though I think Professor Rothbard’s “Anarcho-Capitalism” is a feasible social system, and that Mankind will eventually arrive at such a system if it survives current times, I do not think America is currently at all prepared for such a system, and that if we could arrive at the Jeffersonian Ideal of a Minarchist, or minimal government, Republic, determined by democratic elections, we would have accomplished much. Let’s carry out the Jeffersonian Revolution of government securing Individual Inalienable Right — ┬áits sole legitimate function — and we will have done something which has never been done in the world, but must be done.

Another necessary Gubernatorial function which I think I would fulfill better than any of the other Candidates would be my willingness to meet with the public through speeches, press conferences, and public questionings. If elected, I plan to speak in every town that has a town hall or county building in the State within the first 180 days of my administration, and I will respectfully request that the Native Tribes permit me to visit their Lands and address their Elders, and listen to their concerns. If elected, I will use my bully pulpit to speak out on issues that concern me pertaining to matters within the State of Oregon. I believe that this is a necessary function of any Governor — to meet regularly, face to face with the press, and not just through the ventriloquist’s dummy of a Governor’s spokesperson.

Finally, one other reason I ran was because I was somewhat inspired by the campaign of the Left-Libertarian and Novelist, Norman Mailer, for Mayor of New York. The fact that Mailer would try to realize his own private vision of Libertarianism in the political realm, after writing about it for decades, made me think that, at worst, my campaign would do no harm, while at best it might actually provoke massive change, but, at least, it would probably change the thinking of a few Individuals, here and there, on a few issues, but probably not enough to radically change our society. Mailer confessed after the election that he was so politically naive that up until a week before the actually balloting, he thought he had a chance to win. He got about 5.9% of the vote.

While I resolved to put myself forward as the People’s servant, I also resolved not to interfere with my responsibility to take care of myself and my property. If I were elected, then my Responsibilities would shift, and I think the enforcement of the Constitutional requirements of Article 1 Section 1 would become my first priority, since the Gubernatorial remuneration would be adequate for my personal needs. I do not doubt, despite my lack of actually being in government, that I could carry out the office as competently, if not more so, than any of the other candidates.

So, all these reasons in combination are why I’m running for Governor of Oregon. I’m disgusted with the persistence of Injustice, and I don’t want to see America, as manifested in Oregon, go down the drain.

Paul Grad, Libertarian, for Oregon Governor, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com, http://kboo.fm/content/paulgradinterview